Law, land and what lies beneath: exploring mining impacts on customary law and cultural heritage protection in Ghana and Western Australia

Wazi Apoh, Kirsty Wissing, Wendy Treasure, Joe Fardin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research paper assesses the impacts of mining on the operation
of customary law in relation to land tenure and cultural heritage
resources in Indigenous communities, specifically in southern Ghana
with comparative reference to Western Australia. This research paper
explores extant regulatory approaches for customary law recognition,
land tenure administration, heritage and mining in Western Australia
and how these could be adopted and adapted to circumstances in
Ghana. The authors conducted interviews in the Newmont-Ghana
and AngloGold Ashanti mining-impacted communities in Ghana
and at the Northern Star mining-impacted community in Wiluna,
Western Australia. Industry and government stakeholders in Ghana
and Australia were also consulted. The key problems explored
are: How is customary law and cultural heritage managed at an
Indigenous/customary landholder level vis-a-vis central and subnational
government levels? How do mining companies interact
with Indigenous/customary landholding groups and how do central
and sub-national governments participate in or regulate these
interactions? What are the attitudes of customary landholders in
Ghana about the impact of mining development on their cultural
heritage and how can the situation be improved? This research
paper aims at generating reform ideas to improve governance and
regulation of cultural heritage protection in Ghana.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-386
Number of pages20
JournalAfrican Identities
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2017

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